In April 2018, the Ames community overwhelming approved a bond referendum for a new high school. With the design of the new Ames High School underway, we felt that now was a prime opportunity to assess the “Ames High” brand.
Through our evaluation of the brand, we quickly realized that Ames High brand has no brand standards or proper file formats associated with it. Brand standards are a set of guidelines for the colors, graphic elements, logo specifications, and fonts that comprise a brand. In essence, they are the glue that holds a brand together. Without those, it is difficult to regulate how our brand is used and we often see inconsistent application and an overall diminished brand. For example, a walk-through of Ames High showed three different secondary mascot logos being used in a variety of ways. Through our evaluation, we also quickly realized that our elementary schools, as well as Ames Middle School, would benefit from a solid identity.
The school district collaborated with the City of Ames on a citywide rebranding effort in 2012. This is where the District logo originated from that looks similar to the City of Ames, Chamber of Commerce, and Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau. This logo will not change and will continue to be the logo of the Ames Community School District.
Our goal is to use the District logo, create an Ames High brand, integrate that look across all buildings, and then create an comprehensive brand standard guide for all our schools. When complete, brand standards will inform everyone what is the proper primary and secondary logos at each school, and how to use them.
A Starting Point:
Through this rebranding effort, it is important that we honor the history of Ames Schools, including Ames High. With that in mind, we are not changing the colors away from orange and black, nor are we considering changing “Little Cyclones.” Tradition has a strong hold on these aspects of our brand identity, and we have committed to keeping them. With that in mind, we want to give the Ames High brand a modern upgrade that pays homage to tradition of the school.
After an RFP process, the board approved the rebranding contract to graphic design company, Rippke Design. They are located in Ames, are owned by an Ames High graduate, and have an outstanding portfolio.
One of the first steps in this process is to identify how our community connects with the current brand. The survey below is part of the discovery phase and will help us gain insight from the community to help us identify branding goals, and ultimately the Ames High and building brand.
Take the survey here:
Rippke Design will deliver a comprehensive brand standard for the entire district that all schools can draw from. The color scheme and logo usage will be clear, unifying the District. As this process is unfolding, we are also undertaking the second phase of this project: the creation of an online apparel store.
The creation of an online apparel store will provide the community with one location where they can purchase Ames Community School District apparel. This 24/7 online store, created and maintained by Sigler Companies, Inc. will be the official store that all schools and school related activities will use. Sigler will manage and provide the services of web design and online store development and maintenance, and has agreed to revenue sharing with the District.
Both of these projects are anticipated to conclude over the summer. We are excited to have a unified brand across the District, with opportunities for the community to show their Ames pride with an online apparel store.